Where Have I Been?

It’s been a while since I’ve made any updates on my blog and even I’m asking myself where have I been the last few weeks. I never intended to drop the ball on blog updates, but things don’t always go as planned. Most of March, I was busy with my job including spending some time in Chicago for work, and that paired with maintaining a consistent gym schedule, staying on top of my nutrition, and also having a social life cut into my time that I spend on my blog and social media.

First of all, I want to say thank you to everyone that has been checking out my website over the last few weeks. My Ground Chicken, Sweet Potato, Black Bean Skillet has been pinned more times than I ever thought one of my recipes would be shared! I’m happy to see people loving meal prep recipes so much that they want to try them and share them with others. Meal prepping is essential to fitness goals, in my opinion, and I always make time during my weekend for it. I have a whole blog post that goes more in depth on how I plan my meals and preps for the week if you’re just getting started.

Ground Chicken, Sweet Potato, Black Bean Skillet Meal Prep

Chicken Sweet Potato Black Bean Skillet

In terms of my fitness, I spent most of March in a reverse dieting phase – increasing my calories and macros weekly – in order to find my true maintenance. And honestly it’s the happiest that I’ve ever been with my training, nutrition, and physique all at once. I’ve never had a macro coach so I’ve been relying on the online calculators to determine my TDEE and maintenance macros. My last dieting phase was in January, and even though I saw good results I was pretty unhappy with the amount of food I was eating. I felt that amount I was eating was too low for someone who is in the gym five to six days a week, lifting four or five of those days.

I ended my cut during the first week of February and was disappointed in myself for doing so. Even though dieting isn’t the norm, I felt bad that I didn’t have the discipline to do like so many others seems to be able to do in the fitness community. I stuck to my maintenance calories, around 1750, and went to the gym on auto-pilot mode for the rest of February without any real goals in mind. In March I opted to play around with my macros, both carbs and fats, and ended up capping out around 1850 calories as my maintenance. I would say that I could probably push that up even higher if I wanted to.

Like I said, this is the happiest I’ve been in my fitness journey and it motivates me so much to continue growing. My original plan for April was to go back into a dieting phase for spring and summer, however, after trying it for a week it’s not what I want to do. I think there can be a lot of pressure for those in the fitness community to be leaner and diet this time of year, but it’s what I want to do. I’ve been so happy with my performance in the gym, recently hitting a 200 pound squat and 100 pound bench, why would I mess with that growth by going into a caloric deficit. I want to continue improving my lifts and maintain a healthy balance between nutrition and my lifestyle.

It’s also important for me to enjoy social time with my family and friends. As the weather gets warmer here in Minnesota, we often spend more time out on patios enjoying delicious appetizers and beverages, and I don’t plan to pass that up. I want to be able to spend time with my friends enjoying food instead of stressing about how it’s affecting my diet and worrying about getting back on track the next day.

Now that things have settled a bit at work, I’m hoping to set aside some dedicated times during the week when I can work on new content for both my blog and social media. I’m still journaling weekly and I’m planning to share one new blog post per week – I think that’s a do-able goal. I also want to try new recipes and share those here for others to read, and now that I’m eating more carbs I have even more flexibility with my food options.

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